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Empires of Entertainment: Media Industries and the Politics of Deregulation, 1980-1996
by Jennifer Holt
Rutgers University Press, 2011
eISBN: 978-0-8135-5086-2 | Paper: 978-0-8135-5053-4 | Cloth: 978-0-8135-5052-7
Library of Congress Classification P96.E252U6345 2011
Dewey Decimal Classification 338.47302230973


Empires of Entertainment integrates legal, regulatory, industrial, and political histories to chronicle the dramatic transformation within the media between 1980 and 1996. As film, broadcast, and cable grew from fundamentally separate industries to interconnected, synergistic components of global media conglomerates, the concepts of vertical and horizontal integration were redesigned. The parameters and boundaries of market concentration, consolidation, and government scrutiny began to shift as America's politics changed under the Reagan administration. Through the use of case studies that highlight key moments in this transformation, Jennifer Holt explores the politics of deregulation, the reinterpretation of antitrust law, and lasting modifications in the media landscape.

Holt skillfully expands the conventional models and boundaries of media history. A fundamental part of her argument is that these media industries have been intertwined for decades and, as such, cannot be considered separately. Instead, film, cable and broadcast must be understood in relation to one another, as critical components of a common history. Empires of Entertainment is a unique account of deregulation and its impact on political economy, industrial strategies, and media culture at the end of the twentieth century.

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